Wow - tough lesson! Not sure why... Maybe I was trying too hard. Z and I were struggling together and I wasn't responding well. We worked on straightness, point to point - lots of facing into the corner and making the corner more sweet. She became more and more against the bit throughout the lesson and Dennis hopped in and felt things and taught me for a bit from her back. He's never done that and it was interesting. Z tends to back up crooked and he was trying to stress to me how I have to be sure she realizes that's NOT the answer. We worked on canter departs and got some very soft, nice ones! That was a good thing.
The good, no the GREAT thing about Dennis is that he tries to keep me from beating myself up. I appreciate him trying to preserve my self-esteem in this journey. Z is a difficult horse in that she tells me w/o question when I'm not being good to her or harmonizing with her. I even asked Dennis about switching horses and he explained that she's a good horse because she doesn't let me be sloppy. She forces me to be my best for her and he thinks I should appreciate that and be glad. I know he's right, and I'm glad we had the discussion.
He also thought our groundwork looked a little better. He thought her expression was the best it's looked and we were working nicely together. yay!!
I really think Dennis is a fantastic teacher for me and looking forward to seeing him again this week. I make great strides with his mentoring and I don't feel like a dink when the lesson is over.